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Low(er) cost computing

In the middle of everything else that’s going on right now, we’re working to get the latest FrontlineSMS ready for launch. Among a few of the more minor changes (bug fixes and additional language support, for example) this new release will see the inclusion of FrontlineForms, a fully integrated SMS-driven data collection tool. Although it’s been ready for some time, we’ve been busy getting the core system up to scratch before adding the first of a range of exciting new functionality (the ability to do MMS – multimedia messaging – comes later this year courtesy of our Hewlett funding).

Of course, none of this is of any use if you can’t afford a computer to run anything on. As part of our goal to lower the barrier to entry for prospective FrontlineSMS users, we have plans to develop USB stick and mobile versions of the software. More news on that in the coming weeks and months.

acerfrontlinesms

In the meantime, thanks to great forward planning from Masabi – our developers – FrontlineSMS will already run on a range of emerging low-cost computers. Here’s the latest build (1.5.2) being tested on an Acer One (it’s also running happily on the even lower-cost EEE PC). This kind of set up – a low-cost computer, a GSM modem and a handful of low-end mobile phones – forms the backbone to our thinking of what an “SMS Hub in a Box” might look like.

We’re hoping to do something with that idea when we have a little spare time on our hands.

34 comments

1 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

2 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

3 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

4 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

5 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

6 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

7 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

8 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

9 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

10 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

11 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

12 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

13 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

14 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

15 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

16 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

17 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

18 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

19 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

20 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

21 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

22 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

23 FrontlineSMS o/ { 01.21.09 at 3:20 pm }

FrontlineSMS meets low-cost computing. http://tinyurl.com/7p3muy

24 changefeed { 01.21.09 at 3:25 pm }
25 Alex Anderson { 01.21.09 at 3:53 pm }

Thanks Ken. Would be nice to try on an OLPC too, if anyone has a spare ;-)

26 jke { 01.21.09 at 5:01 pm }

Lovely.

27 hash { 01.21.09 at 5:08 pm }

Great to see the continued iteration and innovation at FrontlineSMS. Can I get a copy to play with on my daughters EEE PC? :)

28 kiwanja { 01.21.09 at 5:20 pm }

@hash Thanks, Erik. But I think @Alex Anderson was hoping someone would send him one. ;) Drop me an email and let me know if you want a copy of the current release, or the test (1.5.2) one. Great if your daughter can help us test out the new Forms functionality. How old was she again? :D

29 Coby { 01.21.09 at 6:36 pm }

Ken,
that looks like Windows. I have one of the “older” Acer One running Linux. Was going to see about getting Ubuntu on it to test Frontline. Already done?
R,
Coby

30 kiwanja { 01.21.09 at 7:15 pm }

@Coby Nope. It is Linux. ;)

We’ve already done a bunch of Linux testing, but if you want to run it through Ubuntu on the Acer then we’re always happy for the help. Apparently there are some issues moving the Acer One over onto Ubuntu (I wanted to do that, too). Let me know how you get on, and if you want to try and run FrontlineSMS through it once you have!

31 Atul { 01.22.09 at 4:03 pm }

Ken
Great to read about FrontlineSMS and yourself. Have been lurking here off-and-on for a while, but am coming out :-)

Would love to read a bit more about FrontlineSMS architecture (technical). If you could share, that would be great. At some later time (when I’ve obtained an Ubuntu PC) would like to contribute as well.

Cheerio
-atul

32 Alex Anderson { 01.22.09 at 4:25 pm }

Hi Atul,

That’s is probably one for the technical team ;-) I’ll try and get it written up in the next few days.

Cheers,

Alex

33 J.A. Ginsburg { 01.22.09 at 11:10 pm }

Great post. In fact, I liked it so much, it’s linked on http://www.Trackernews.net (left column).

cheers,

Janet
http://twitter.com/TrackerNews

34 Alex Anderson { 01.28.09 at 9:48 am }

Atul,

A brief intro to the FrontlineSMS architecture is up now at http://frontlinesms.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2052630:BlogPost:8449

Hope that’s enough to get you started.

Alex

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